Yearbook Finds: Fred McGriff and Mark Grace

David Brown
Big League Stew

Guys like Fred McGriff and Mark Grace must have been the coolest dudes at their respective high schools, right? Big, tall handsome multisport athletes with winning smiles and outgoing personalities. Yeah, they were the jocks that ruled the school.

Actually, today's kids might not know it to look at their yearbook photos: 

Mark Eugene Grace Tustin (Calif.) High, class of 1982.

Definitely a natural blond, but that hue of yellow shouldn't occur in nature. One more year and we're talking feathered part down the middle. Instead, we get young Rick Schroeder's combed-forward bangs. Credit for dressing up for photo day in a conservative blue suit.

Frederick Stanley McGriff (or "Fredrick" — as it seems to be misspelled)
Jefferson (Tampa, Fla.) High, class of 1981.

This one's all about the glasses. A few years earlier and we're talking big Afro. Not sure whether that would hype his cool quotient or not. Appears ready to study mortuary science.

[Also: Derek Jeter, Yankees aren't sweating over the Orioles]

Both of these shots are available thanks to the emerging secondary market for celebrity yearbooks on eBay. The Crime Dog's yearbook has been on sale for 2 1/2 weeks, but nobody has bitten at $59.99 for the Toronto Blue Jays legend. His 469th career home run ball is also for sale for considerably more at $1,350. Mark Grace's book runs for $125 and includes at least several other amusing photos of Grace, including prom, and one where his date poses in a giant wicker chair.

With his 493 career homers and other things, Fred has a chance, someday maybe, at the Hall of Fame. His book might be a better investment than Grace's.

But is there any wicker chair? Doubtful. And what do these high school elites look like today?

That's Fred on the right. Gracie's aged a little. Fred gave up his glasses, but Mark found a stylish pair. Seeing is the most important thing. The Cubs should look into hiring Grace for one of their broadcast booths. He's a free agent after the D-backs let him and Daron Sutton go.

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